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El Buen Sabor

Posted by DID 14 Apr 2010 15 Comments

On the corner of University Dr and Old Chapel Hill Rd., just behind the Target, is a bright yellow and red money order/check cashing place. In the back of this hard-to-miss establishment is El Buen Sabor Taqueria y Pupuseria.

Some may remember this as Coma Rico, which was reviewed here in 2008. I loved Coma Rico for the occasional take-out pupusa and was really sad when it shut it doors. I’m not sure how long El Buen Sabor has been open in the same spot, but I’m glad it’s there.

First off, I’m a sucker for pupusas. Fried bread and cheese, what’s not to like? I had a pollo y queso pupusa and a taco al pastor and my husband ordered a frijoles y queso and a plain queso pupusa (he’s veggie). The pupupas were solid – large and oozing with cheese. They seemed pretty much the same as the ones Coma Rico used to dish out. The only difference being that now the vinegar cabbage is self-serve in the salsa bar verses already piled on top.

The taco was surprisingly good – large chunks of pineapple, well-seasoned pork, cilantro and an avocado slice on top, which was a nice touch. El Buen Sabor also brings chips and salsa to the table. The chips were the round, forgettable bagged variety but the salsa seemed homemade and had a nice peppery punch.

We left full and happy. The total for three papusas and a taco with tax came in under $9.

3411 University Dr

Durham, NC 27707

(919) 401-4619

15 Comments »

  • Porky LeSwine said:

    El Buen Sabor is one of my favorite restaurants in town. They serve top notch pupusas and tacos that put the food served at high end places like Dos Perros and most other tacquerias to shame. Plus, while you wait for your food you can buy a prepaid cell phone or wire money or buy junk food imported from Mexico. What else could one possibly need?

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    Sant replies on April 15th, 2010 at 3:31 pm:

    Since you asked, homemade rather than bagged tortilla chips would be nice…

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  • TSQ75 said:

    holy crap there was actually detectable pineapple in the Pastor taco?! *falls out*

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  • DID (author) said:

    Don’t forget fancy ladies’ perfume, Porky.

    TSQ75 – totally – lot’s of it. Though the meat was a little fattier than the al pastor at Superior.

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  • MEZ said:

    Has a taco throwdown ever been done in Durham? I’m beginning to think we need one! Or, I might just want to try tacos from all our yummy options at the same time.

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    burgeoningfoodie replies on April 15th, 2010 at 4:25 pm:

    Boo throwdown! How about the new and more appropriate Food Wars which has two local places competing instead of one against Bobby Filet (yes I know how to spell his name).

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    MEZ replies on April 15th, 2010 at 8:15 pm:

    Ha ha. Yeah, I just meant a competition amongst our various taco treasure palaces. Sad how TV somehow makes a word get co-opted for all future uses!

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    burgeoningfoodie replies on April 16th, 2010 at 2:04 pm:

    I knew what you meant was just the first thing that came to my mind. There was, when I first came upon Carpe Durham’s site, what was to be review and comparison of all taquerias and one guest poster even did a taco or torta challenge… Unfortunately that line of thinking never went anywhere. If someone were up to devoting a spin-off page and eating too similar products from different establishments, it could work. Believe me there are enough taco, pizza, bbq, burger, chinese, thai.. etc places to have weekly or bi-weekly battles but I don’t know if there are a small group of people or one person who would be willing to do. I say one or a limited number because all tastes vary.. and a small group would be easier to form an overall concensus from (if 4 people go and they each order the same 2 tacos then there will either be a winner or a tie).. If 7 go that would just take forever… Interesting idea..

    RPP replies on April 16th, 2010 at 2:14 pm:

    That’s definitely a good idea. I did a brief torta comparison back in early 2008 (http://carpedurham.com/2008/03/09/torta-wars-la-superior-v-orellana/), but then forgot about doing more.

    We would very excited about posting any similar comparisons. I think making it a biweekly feature would be an excellent addition to the site.

    burgeoningfoodie replies on April 19th, 2010 at 1:52 pm:

    I knew I wasn’t losing my mind. I’d do it but I’m not that opinionated and can’t afford any more notches on my belt without moving up a pant size ;-) Money not withstanding.

  • DID (author) said:

    I’m with you Mez! La Vaquita gets my vote for best barbacoa, Los Comales for chorizo, La Superior for the tortillas, azada and carnitas (when they have it) … and maybe Buen Sabor gets the vote for al pastor. But that’s not even counting the trucks. It would be tough.

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    burgeoningfoodie replies on April 15th, 2010 at 4:26 pm:

    And afterwards, we can have a Tums, Pepto, Alka Seltzer, etc throwdown Woo Hoo! :-p

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  • Chris said:

    Order the torta cubana!!

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  • Sant said:

    Thanks for the heads up on this place, I really liked my meal. I didn’t get any chips and salsa, which is fine since it was bagged chips. And besides, they give you so much food you don’t need it. I ordered a chicken and cheese pupusa, al pastor and choriza tacos, and melon agua. The pupusa was delicious and may be the greatest bargain in Durham at $2. The tacos are $1.75 and well worth it because they came overstuffed (but no avacado slices on mine like in the pic above) but the tortillas are handmade to order and are thicker so they don’t fall apart even with all the meat and toppings. I like this way better than the double machine made tortillas you get at other taquerias. I’m a big guy and I would say a pupusa and one taco is easily enough food to fill me up. One would be hard pressed to find a better meal for $3.75. The condiment bar may not be quite as good as Los Comales or Superior but, unlike La Vacqueta, at least they have one. I really liked their spicy avocado salsa. Even as tacquerias go the ambiance is terrible though. Looks like the space is shared by three different businesses and there is a tv blaring Spanish music videos. Fortunately, there is a little deck to the side outside where you can enjoy your food in peace.

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  • TÜF said:

    I stopped in El Buen Sabor last night to pick up some pupusas and found that it has changed ownership and is now named “Taqueria y Pupuseria Las Delicias”. They’ve spruced up the dining area by putting down new wood laminate flooring, adding new tables and chairs, and shifting the salsa bar to a corner of the room. Overall, the dining area looks nicer and better maintained.

    The menu has been revamped a bit but, thankfully, they still offer pupusas. The chicken and cheese pupusas I got appeared to be a little smaller than I remember them being before, but they were really good. The chicken seemed to be cooked in the same tasty tomato topping sauce that they serve alongside the curtido.

    Very friendly people working there. In case you were wondering they’re not selling perfumes or cell phones anymore.

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